NEW YORK – Stocks ended cautiously mixed Monday, with technology shares getting a lift from Qualcomm Inc. and Cisco Systems while a top-level management shakeup at Dow component Boeing pressured blue chips.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average (search) was down 3.69 points, or 0.03 percent, at 10,936.86 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (search) was up 3.19 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,225.31. The Nasdaq Composite Index (search) was up 19.60 points, or 0.95 percent, at 2,090.21.
"There's a lot of money coming back into the market right now," said Brian Williamson, an equity trader at The Boston Company Asset Management. "What we saw on Friday was encouraging for The Dow Jones industrial average came within striking distance of 11,000 on Friday before settling at the highest close in more than 3 1/2 years. The rally was fueled by a positive U.S. jobs report.
Qualcomm (QCOM) rose 5 percent to $37.23 after the company raised its outlook for profit and said strong chip shipments were expected but added that revenue would be lower than analysts' expectations. Cisco (CSCO) rose 2 percent to $18.42 after Barron's financial news weekly said the company remains a powerhouse in its core business.
"We are getting into a situation where good news is great news. Around the earnings cycle, good news was bad news because the market was looking for great news. That's why Qualcomm is up," said Jim Fehrenbach, head of Nasdaq trading at Piper Jaffray. "The Barron's article seems to be bumping up Cisco. Oil prices are also down. There's certainly a little more optimism in the market."
A late rise in crude oil futures helped send the Dow off its session highs. A barrel of light crude was quoted at $53.89, up 11 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange (search). Bonds rose, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note falling to 4.3 percent, while the dollar rose against most major currencies and gold was up as well.
Profit-taking pushed the Dow lower as Boeing (BA), a Dow component, said Chief Executive Officer Harry Stonecipher was asked to resign by the company's board for a relationship with a female executive. It is the second major CEO scandal for the aircraft manufacturer in less than 1 1/2 years.
Boeing fell 8 cents to $58.30, recovering in the last hour from its session lows. Boeing said James Bell, the aerospace giant's chief financial officer, would serve as interim president and CEO while the company seeks a replacement for Stonecipher, whose predecessor, Phil Condit (search), resigned Dec. 1, 2003, in a defense contracting scandal.
However, investors were cheered by three separate merger announcements in the financial, defense and communications sectors — a sign of corporate America's confidence in economic growth. Hibernia Corp. (HIB) rose $5.67, or 21.3 percent, to $32.24 after Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) said it would pay more than $5.35 billion in cash and stock to acquire the Louisiana regional bank. Capital One, which hopes to bolster its banking business to help with distribution of its credit cards, fell $2.08 to $76 on the news.
Europe's BAE Systems PLC announced a $4.2 billion bid to buy United Defense Industries Inc. (UDI), which includes the assumption of $218 million in UDI debt. BAE said the move will help the company attract more U.S. defense spending. UDI surged $15.09, or 25.9 percent, to $73.35.
Insight Communications Inc. (ICCI) climbed $2.07, or 21.4 percent, to $11.75 after private equity firm The Carlyle Group said it is offering $650 million, or $10.70 per share, to acquire the cable systems operator and take it private.
Shares of Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), the world's largest maker of chips for cell phones, were up 48 cents to $27.37 . The company was to give its midquarter business report on Monday after the bell.
Intel Corp. (INTC) rose 2.3 percent to $25.24. The world's largest chip maker will update its first-quarter financial targets on Thursday. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange semiconductor index was up 2.4 percent.
Sony Corp (SNE) was up 77 cents at $39.31 after the Japanese conglomerate named former CBC president Howard Stringer as chairman and CEO, hoping that his entertainment experience will help the company with the convergence of its own entertainment holdings and its consumer electronics business.
In earnings news, Marvel Enterprises Inc. (MVL) said improved licensing revenue and movie merchandising related to "Spider-Man 2" helped the company beat Wall Street's quarterly profit expectations by 5 cents per share. Marvel slipped 45 cents to $18.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was down 1.09, or 0.2 percent, at 643.86.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.44 percent. In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 closed down 0.18 percent, France's CAC-40 climbed 0.4 percent for the session, and Germany's DAX index gained 0.1 percent.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.